Nature Activity at Florida Museum of Natural History Emily Dunson

The Florida Museum of Natural History is a gem on our campus. From fossils to living species, the museum allows for people to appreciate nature's past, present, and future. Although I attend the museum frequently, each time I am exposed to something new. The intricacies of the exhibits allow for people taking tours to appreciate not only the nature but the culture within the natural world. Nature is the most valuable asset we have as humans, I hope this museum employs others to appreciate it and use it wisely.

The Nature on Display that peaked my interest the most was the underwater estuary exhibit. The display goes beyond showing aquatic life but immerses one in the underwater world through colors, sounds and movements. What intrigued me the most about this display was the "Still to Small to See" portion. The exhibit was at a 12-times life-size scale yet there are still organism not depicted because of their minuscule size. So often I appreciate nature because of its beauty or size, but I forget about the small parts of our ecosystem, especially the one underwater, and their huge contributions to their environment.

Nature and Ethics was definitely evident in my tour of the museum. The FMNH does a great job of creating life-like, immersion exhibits allowing the people touring the museum to experience nature similar to Leopold's recommendations -- with appreciation and without damage. I went after elementary schools had dismissed, so the museum was full of small children in awe of the unseen worlds they were experiencing through the museum. To me, the monarch exhibit did a great job of teaching the habits and trends of the monarchs while also making the experience fun and enjoyable. It also served as an introduction to appreciation for butterflies before entering the Butterfly Garden.

Nature and the Human Spirit are evident throughout the museums exhibits as each new part of the museum allows people to experience a natural world that may be unfamiliar to them. The People of the Estuary exhibit does a great job of not only allowing people to experience the nature of the estuary but also relate to the human life within in. It allows for a deeper appreciation, because it shows the importance of the nature, such as mangrove trees and the species living in and around them, to the Calusa society.

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